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HGST Ultrastar SSD800MM Enterprise 12Gb/s SSD Review

By: Paul Alcorn | SSDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Jul 9, 2013 1:01 pm
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: HGST

Final Thoughts




SAS SSDs and HDDs continue to be the building block of choice for enterprise and cloud storage. The incoming 12Gb/s specification doubles the throughput of the 6Gb/s interface, yet also provides features that will enable SAS to operate as a robust storage fabric. Providing high-performance SSDs to utilize the enhanced speed of 12Gb/s is a daunting task and HGST delivers a class-leading SSD that excels in a number of categories.


The SSD800MM is destined for ultra-high performance Tier-0 applications that require the very best performance. In the majority of deployments, utilizing multiple PCIe SSD's to address performance challenges is cost prohibitive. The HGST SSD800MM provides PCIe-like performance in a much smaller form factor that scales well in an enterprise setting.


The continuing collaboration between Intel and HGST has delivered a refined product. The HGST/Intel controller and firmware manages to wring impressive endurance from the 25nm eMLC NAND and delivers strong performance in heavy write workloads. With the recent news that Western Digital has acquired sTec, which will fall under the HGST umbrella, the future of the HGST/Intel partnership will be very interesting. With the enhanced controller IP and patent portfolio from sTec, HGST has a number of interesting options that were not available a few short weeks ago.


In our testing, the HGST drive delivered dominating performance across the board. The HGST SSD800MM led virtually every test, with the only challenge coming in the 128K sequential write testing. In 9-Watt mode, the SMART Optimus managed to best the HGST SSD800MM, but once we turned to the 11-Watt mode, the HGST matched the performance of the SMART Optimus. We tested extensively with both 9-Watt and 11-Watt modes, and found the performance increase focused around sequential write performance. This is a small niche for the increased speed, but for those with heavy write workloads, this will be beneficial.


In comparison to the only other 12Gb/s SSD available for comparison, the Toshiba PX02SMF080, the HGST delivered more consistent performance, particularly in heavier write workloads. The HGST SSD800MM offers up 14.6 PB of write endurance for the 800GB model, while the Toshiba also features 14.6PB of endurance for the same capacity point. The SMART Optimus, utilized as our 6Gb/s comparison SSD due to its excellent dual-port performance characteristics, provides a similar 13.9 PB of endurance. For those with more demanding heavy-write workloads there is the option of the HGST SSD800MH high endurance model, which sports an impressive 35.6 PB of endurance.


SAS SSDs generally tend to have higher power consumption due to their Active-Active dual port functionality. In our IOPS-to-Watts testing the HGST SSD800MM delivered dominating performance. The HGST SSD800MM offers up the best IOPS-to-Watts ratio of any of the Dual Port SAS SSDs in our test pool. This will have tremendous impact upon TCO over the service life of the drive.




The HGST SSD800MM also provides a host of encryption options and numerous layers of protection from data corruption. T10 DIF, extended ECC, XOR parity, and parity checked internal data paths provide a 1E-17 non-recoverable error rate.


The broader implications of 12Gb/s SAS's enhanced density and new topologies created by longer cabling and management features will take time to penetrate into the datacenter, but storage devices like the HGST SSD800MM will hasten this transition with their offering of radically improved speed and density. Utilizing an HGST SSD800MM in existing 6Gb/s infrastructure will yield great results in random workloads, thought the sequential performance will be hindered by the 6Gb/s interface.


For being a newcomer with a new 12Gb/s interface, the HGST SSD800MM is a very polished offering. Delivering class-leading performance, consistency, data protection, efficiency and endurance is a tall order. HGST hits a home run on all accounts with the SSD800MM, and provides a five year warranty to guarantee the SSD. Considering all of the features, and simply outstanding performance from the HGST SSD800MM, it is a simple decision to award it the TweakTown Editor's Choice Award.



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